What is the Value of Pain & Suffering?

bpf legal vermont personal injury lawyer attorneyA personal injury claimant is entitled to be compensated for his or her pain and suffering.  But what does that mean, and more importantly, how do we calculate an amount of money for pain and suffering?

First, it’s helpful to have a general overview of personal injury damages.

There are two broad categories of personal injury damages: economic losses on one side, and non-economic losses on the other.  Economic losses include such things as medical expenses, lost wages, and other tangible expenses that can be calculated.  On the other hand, non-economic losses are intangible.

Pain and suffering is a non-economic loss.  An intangible.  It’s hard to grasp and there is no precise method of calculation.  In Vermont, pain and suffering may include compensation for disability, disfigurement, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.  These consequences of an injury may be temporary for a defined period, or they may be permanent.

VT personal injury pain and suffering

When we evaluate pain and suffering, we are predicting what a jury is likely to award to an injured person after hearing evidence about how the injury has impacted the person’s life.  The evidence of pain and suffering is different for every person but in every case it includes a comparison between the person’s life pre-injury and post-injury.  How has the person’s life changed as a result of being injured?

Vermont personal injury lawyers who can help

Since most cases do settle without a jury trial, we use data from past jury trials and settlements to determine what we believe is appropriate compensation for pain and suffering.  It’s important to note that appropriate compensation does not mean adequate compensation.  In reality, there is no amount of money to adequately compensate a person for living with the effects of a personal injury.

If you have questions about a personal injury case, please contact me for a free consultation.  Call 802-863-1191 and ask for Adam or email me by clicking here or use the contact form below.

Who Pays The Medical Bills?

If you have been injured by someone else’s negligence, you may be feeling overwhelmed by questions about who will pay for all of your medical treatment.

VT personal injury who pays the medical bills

That’s entirely normal because it is complicated and expensive.  The last thing you want is to be injured and be in debt for unpaid medical bills.

Part of what we do for our personal injury clients is figure out how the medical bills will be paid.  We want our clients to focus on their treatment and on getting better, not stressing about how to pay for it – or worse, not getting the treatment they need.

Many of our clients are surprised to learn that we do not ask the negligent person’s insurance company to pay for the medical bills at the time of treatment.  Instead, we look to the insurance company for payment at the end of the case as part of an overall settlement for all damages, including the medical expense, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.

In the meantime, we will evaluate other insurance coverage for the medical bills.  This could be a private health insurer (such as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont), Vermont Medicaid, or medical payments coverage under your own auto policy.

If the medical bills are paid by another entity, or remain unpaid, we’ll make sure to get all claims for reimbursement or payment resolved at the time of settlement.

If you have private health insurance and have suffered a personal injury, especially if you have been in a motor vehicle crash, you may receive a letter like the following from your health insurer.  The following letter is what is typically sent out by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont to its insureds after they’ve been injured in a crash.

Vermont personal injury and medical bills - Who Pays?

The Importance of Photographs in a Personal Injury Case

The importance of photographs in a personal injury case

I cannot stress enough the importance of photographs in a personal injury case.  Pictures preserve valuable details about the case while memories tend to fade over time.  When months or even years have passed since the event in question, pictures help us re-tell the story of what happened.  Sometimes we are presenting our case to an insurance adjuster, and other times we are presenting the case in court; either way, our job is to tell the story.  The old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” proves true time and again in personal injury cases.

Imagine trying to describe the experience of being in a vehicle crash using only words.  And then imagine describing the crash with pictures of the aftermath like the ones below?  See the difference?

Importance of Photographs in a Personal Injury Case

Why Photographs are important in a Personal Injury Case

Vermont personal injury lawyers

When we are retained as lawyers for a victim in a personal injury case, one of our many tasks is to find and preserve all available evidence including photographs.  We obtain pictures from witnesses, police departments, surveillance cameras, and if possible we’ll go out and take our own pictures.

If you have questions about a personal injury case, please contact me for a free consultation.  Call 802-863-1191 and ask for Adam or email me by clicking here or use the contact form below.